Friday, August 26, 2011

Tough Enough -- Don't Mess With Former Hoosier Doss

Tandon Doss is one tough son of a buck. Yes, by now you’ve seen the story, the tweets, the blogs, the messages. The former IU stud receiver was minding his own business at a Five Guys hamburger place in Baltimore late Thursday afternoon, getting ready to play in a Ravens’ exhibition game (he’s a Ravens rookie) against the Washington Redskins when a knife fight broke out. Two former employees were attacking the restaurant manager.

For most people, this would be an excuse to run or watch. Doss intervened and broke up the fight. He did it without a weapon of any kind other than the fact he’s a big, athletic guy with a bunch of tattoos. The employees bolted. The manager escaped with just a cut chin.

Then Doss caught two passes for 28 yards in the exhibition game. He also found time to use Twitter to defend himself for helping. His tweet basically said that in Indianapolis, people don’t let victims get jumped without helping.

It’s that kind of fearless attitude that made Doss such an outstanding player for IU. It’s also why he’s likely to stick with the Ravens. You can’t have enough tough-minded guys who do the right thing on your roster.

Doss showed some of that toughness last year. He was banged up at the start of the season, and probably wasn’t ever totally healthy, but still made a huge impact all over the field. He caught 63 passes for 706 yards and seven touchdowns. He averaged 7.0 yards on punt returns, 24.8 yards on kickoff returns. He rushed for 163 yards and averaged 5.8 yards a carry.

He could have returned for another year of college, but decided to pass in favor of NFL opportunity. There’s one Five Guys manager who is very glad he did.

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